BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Carpenter's Gift

Although I don't talk about it much on here, I'm a big supporter of Habitat for Humanity. I've volunteered with my local chapter off and on for about 15 years, as my health permits. If you're not familiar with Habitat, they are a global organization that believes every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. While they are Christian based, they build with people in need regardless of race or religion. They accept volunteers and partner families regardless of religious affiliation.

I want to tell you about a children's book they have, "The Carpenter's Gift", published by Random House Children's Books, written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMerche. Originally issued in 2011, this year they are marking the 80th anniversary of the annual Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Later this year and next, there will be special efforts, currently unknown, made to highlight Habitat’s unique partnership with Rockefeller Center and their annual Christmas Tree donation to Habitat's housing ministry.

Author David Rubel and Habitat for Humanity International collaborated in the creation of "The Carpenter’s Gift", and the author shares a percentage of his earnings with Habitat. Habitat sees the lessons found within the book’s pages as an important way of conveying its mission. In the book, a pinecone grows into a towering tree and brings happiness to millions and a home to young girl. Similarly, Habitat’s hope is that The Carpenter’s Gift plants the concept of ‘sharing your blessings’ in the hearts of young readers. Families or individuals who want to support Habitat’s mission and make this special story even more memorable can order a unique collector’s item bookplate made from the 2010 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree at

This is a new to me book, though I have a couple others, adult not children, by them regarding their mission and their origins. I'm not trying to preach to anyone here; I am a big believer in all people having affordable, safe, decent housing and Habitat is one organization working towards that goal. I haven't gotten my hands on this book yet, but I will. We're going into a season of major religious holidays so please consider purchasing this book - for your family, your friends, your local school or your local library.

THE CARPENTER'S GIFT: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree
Author: David Rubel
Illustrator: Jim LaMarche
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Ages: 5–8
ISBN: 978-0-375-86922-8
Length: 48 pages

Book Blurb (from publisher):

This new classic Christmas gift book "brings together two great traditions: the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the neighbor-helping-neighbor program of Habitat for Humanity." Opening in Depression-era New York City, The Carpenter's Gift tells the story of eight-year-old Henry and his father selling Christmas trees. They give a Christmas tree to construction workers building Rockefeller Center and celebrate together. Through the kindness of the construction workers and neighbors, Henry gets his wish for a nice, warm home to replace his family's drafty shack. He plants a pinecone from that first Rockefeller Center Tree. As an old man, Henry repays the gift by donating the enormous tree that has grown from that pinecone. After bringing joy to thousands as the Rockefeller Center tree, its wood will be used to build a home for another family in need. 

You can buy the book directly from Habitat, from Random House or any major book seller. This will make a great gift, not only for the young children in your life but for anyone who cares about housing, tradition, or their fellow human being.


  1. What a great book. I think my daughter would love this. She is giving her Halloween costume from last year to a little girl a couple house down, whose parents can't afford any this year. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. That is so wonderful of your daughter! What a thoughtful girl. If you do get the book, I hope she enjoys it.


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